Best budget Bluetooth speakers 2019: portable, desktop and multi-room

Best budget Bluetooth speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best affordable wireless speakers you can buy in 2019.

There's something for everyone here, including a couple of smart speakers with voice control, rugged options to take on your travels and more refined offerings more suited to home use. Whether you want full-on portability, something to pop in the living room or have multi-room on your mind this list has a cheap Bluetooth speaker for all situations.

MORE: see all our Bluetooth speaker reviews

Best Bluetooth speakers 2019

3. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

A fantastically affordable Bluetooth speaker with a weighty sound and good battery life.

SPECIFICATIONS

Connectivity: Bluetooth | Power: Battery | Battery life: 13hrs | Charge time: 2.6hrs **Dimensions (hwd):** 10.4 x 9.5 x 9.5cm | Weight: 420g

Reasons to Buy
Punchy, entertaining sound
Hefty bass
Decent battery life
Reasons to Avoid
No wi-fi or smart assistant built-in
No mic for hands-free calls

Ultimate Ears has really made a splash in the Bluetooth speaker market with a number of colourful, fun-sounding and portable models on its books. The latest is the small but mightily impressive Wonderboom 2.

Battery life is 13 hours and a full charge takes just under three. It's waterproof, sandproof, dustproof and is also designed to float so it should withstand the most lively of pool parties. Playback is controlled over a Bluetooth connection, but it's surprising to see there's no mic for hands-free calling.

Sonically, the Wonderboom 2 is an exciting listen, with impressive bass given its small dimensions. It packs in plenty of detail and there's a fine sense of attack. It's easily one of the best sounding Bluetooth speakers you can buy for the money.

Read the full review: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

Best budget Bluetooth speakers 2019: portable, desktop and multi-room

2. Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen)

The most enticing way to bring Alexa into your home.

SPECIFICATIONS

Voice assistant: Alexa | Connectivity: Bluetooth, wi-fi | Output: 3.5mm

Reasons to Buy
Clear, solid sound
Improved Alexa capabilities
Budget price
Reasons to Avoid
Alexa intelligence is limited

If you like the idea of a smart assistant combined with a simple music speaker, it’s hard to argue against the Amazon Echo Dot. For not a lot of money you get a whole load of smart voice functionality and decent sound with the latest (third generation) model. It works well on its own or can be nicely integrated into myriad other smart home and AV products, bringing voice control and smart features just a command away. Sound quality has improved notably too, making it even easier to recommend.

Read the full review: Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation)

Best budget Bluetooth speakers 2019: portable, desktop and multi-room

3. Ultimate Ears Roll 2

A compact, portable speaker that sounds great and is fun to use.

SPECIFICATIONS

Waterproof: IPX7 | Bluetooth: Yes | Input: 3.5mm | Battery life: : 9 hours

Reasons to Buy
Clear and detailed
Fluid dynamics and open sound
Great design and easy to use
Reasons to Avoid
Pricier rivals offer greater bass weight

Improved sound and a price cut make this ultra-portable, colourful speaker even more desirable than before - and that's why it's one of our 2018 Award winners. If you’re after a compact, portable speaker that sounds great and is genuinely fun to use, we can’t recommend the Roll 2 highly enough. The fact that it's available in multiple different colours is an added bonus, and the bungee strap on the back can be used to hang it wherever you want.

Read the full review: Ultimate Ears Roll 2

Best budget Bluetooth speakers 2019: portable, desktop and multi-room

4. Amazon Echo 2

Cheaper, smarter and better at listening than its predecessor.

SPECIFICATIONS

Voice control: Alexa | Finishes: six | Connectivity: Bluetooth and wi-fi

Reasons to Buy
Alexa voice control
Improved hearing commands
Smart design
Reasons to Avoid
Average sound quality

Everything from the price to the microphone performance has improved in this, the second generation of Amazon's Echo speaker - although if you want better sound quality you'll need to look at the pricier Amazon Echo Plus (£140). Provided you don’t expect more for your £90 - and considering there isn’t an alternative for the money - the Echo 2 remains a good smart speaker buy. 

Read the full review: Amazon Echo 2

Best budget Bluetooth speakers 2019: portable, desktop and multi-room

5. Ultimate Ears Blast

The Blast is all-action in terms of both sound and durability

SPECIFICATIONS

Bluetooth: Yes | Voice control: Alexa | Battery life: 12 hours | Waterproof: Yes

Reasons to Buy
Great portable design
Exciting, dynamic sound
Easy to use
Reasons to Avoid
Top end can get excitable at loud volumes
Alexa features not exhaustive
Relatively pricey

Ultimate Ears has a knack for finding the right combination of sound, design and features in its portable Bluetooth speakers, and it does so again with the waterproof Blast. The Blast’s energetic performance and fun design makes this wireless speaker a joy to use. It’s a fun, exciting speaker that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Read the full review: Ultimate Ears Blast

Best budget Bluetooth speakers 2019: portable, desktop and multi-room

6. Audio Pro Addon T5

A mature and refined-sounding Bluetooth speaker with multi-room credentials.

SPECIFICATIONS

Bluetooth: Yes | Inputs: USB, 3.5mm | Multi-room: Yes

Reasons to Buy
Great dynamism
Clear and transparent
Good sense of timing
Reasons to Avoid
Lack of portability

If you're in the market for a stationary wireless speaker that can develop into a multi-room audio system, the T5 is a great place to start. It's a beefed-up version of the Audio Pro T3 - however, unlike the smaller model, the T5 doesn’t have an in-built battery, so this isn’t a speaker to be taking out and about with you. Assuming you can live with that, the T5 has the same great character of the T3 – an expressive, well balanced, and full sound – but with more weight in the lower frequencies. You’ll be hard pressed to get something much better without dipping a lot deeper into your piggy bank.

Read the full review: Audio Pro Addon T5

Best budget Bluetooth speakers 2019: portable, desktop and multi-room

7. JBL Xtreme 2

One of the best portable speakers around, and can be subtle too.

SPECIFICATIONS

Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm | Water resistance: IPX7 | Battery life: 15 hours | Power: 2 x 20W | Weight: 2.4kg

Reasons to Buy
Clean, clear sound
Balanced bass
Solid design
Reasons to Avoid
Big
No wi-fi or multi-room
Presentation too grown-up for some

The JBL Xtreme 2 comes as a pleasant surprise. At first sight, the it might appear a little brash and out of place – an unashamed boombox in an era of reserved smart speakers dressed in grey fabric. However, this bold and aggressive look is matched by some of the sweetest sound you’ll hear from a portable speaker. There's no wi-fi, smart assistant support and multi-room audio, but this speaker sounds much more refined and delicate than it looks. Add in its chunky, rugged build and IPX7 water resistance and you have an ideal Bluetooth speaker for use in the great outdoors.

Read the full review: JBL Xtreme 2

Best budget Bluetooth speakers 2019: portable, desktop and multi-room

8. Bose SoundLink Revolve

Bose's petite Bluetooth speaker makes a big impact.

SPECIFICATIONS

Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm | Battery life: 12 hours | Weight: 0.66kg

Reasons to Buy
Great omnidirectional delivery
Big, solid, punchy sound
Portable and feature-packed
Reasons to Avoid
Rivals sound more detailed
Not especially rugged
A bit pricey

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a strikingly petite speaker, and we can see it fitting into just about any space in your home. The speaker has a decent heft – it feels more substantial than the similar-sized Google Home, for instance – but it can still be held in the palm of your hand. The unit's cylindrical design is key to delivering its 360-degree sound and it is compact enough to be carried in a backpack. 

An iPX4 water-resistance rating is handy if you're worried about it getting wet, and for such a small speaker, the Bose Revolve delivers a surprisingly big and bold sound. It's come down in price since we first tested it and it’s hard not to admire the Bose Revolve for its range of talents.

Read the full review: Bose SoundLink Revolve

Best budget Bluetooth speakers 2019: portable, desktop and multi-room

9. JBL Charge 3

JBL’s versatile wireless speaker delivers a super sound indoors or out.

SPECIFICATIONS

Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm, micro USB, Type C USB | Battery life: 20 hours | Water-resistance: IPX7

Reasons to Buy
Impressive build
Clever design
Useful features
Reasons to Avoid
Lacks a little openness and subtlety

The Charge 3 has been designed with portability in mind and fits neatly into the company’s existing speaker range. It’s larger than the petite JBL Flip and JBL Link 20 but not as hefty as the JBL Xtreme (see above) This makes the Charge 3 a good size for flinging in a rucksack and taking on your travels. This is definitely a speaker that could quite happily cope with an active camping weekend or beach holiday.

Given the JBL’s rugged and sturdy build, you won’t be surprised to hear the Charge 3 sounds neither shy nor hesitant. It’s an enthusiastic, powerful sound, highlighted by the passive radiators pulsing vigorously at either end of the speaker. For its price (which has dropped since we first reviewed it), this is an excellent buy.

Read the full review: JBL Charge 3

Best budget Bluetooth speakers 2019: portable, desktop and multi-room

10. Tivoli Andiamo

A stylish product whose performance lives up to its looks, with a musical sound that’s hard to find at this money.

SPECIFICATIONS

Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0, 3.5mm | Battery life: 20 hours | Full-range driver: 6.5cm | Passive driver: 7.7cm | DSP equalization: 24-bit

Reasons to Buy
Fast, agile, musical sound
Premium feel and build
Reasons to Avoid
Not much at this price

Take a look at Tivoli’s Andiamo wireless speaker from afar, and you would be forgiven for thinking that this is a Bang & Olufsen product. This is a lovely little piece of kit, made from lightweight but tough aluminium with leather trimmings, and nicely put together. “Andiamo” means “let’s go” in Italian, just in case you were wondering. At its heart, this is a basic Bluetooth speaker, with no frills or added extras. Control buttons are hidden neatly beneath the tooled leather strap.

It may be relatively small in stature, but the Andiamo is certainly able to pack a sonic punch – and produces a sound way larger than you might have thought. The Tivoli Andiamo manages to pull off the seemingly impossible, by being a beautifully put together ‘lifestyle’ product while at the same time providing a sound that comfortably matches its price. 

Read the full review: Tivoli Andiamo

Best budget Bluetooth speakers 2019: portable, desktop and multi-room

11. Audio Pro A10

New look, but a familiar sonic character from Audio Pro.

SPECIFICATIONS

Power: 52W Class D | Connectivity: Wi-fi, Bluetooth V4.0, 3.5 mm | Multi-room: Yes | Audio formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless

Reasons to Buy
Wide dispersion of sound
Excellent timing and dynamics
Versatile positioning
Reasons to Avoid
Lacks midrange body

The Audio Pro A10 is an entirely different design from it siblings such as the Addon T5 featured further up this list. Here we have a fabric-coated cylinder standing just shy of 20cm, resembling more the kind of speaker we’re used to seeing from its rivals, but most importantly, bringing the company’s Award-winning sonic signature sound to a multi-room speaker costing less than £200.

Inside it's different from the A10’s rectangular stablemates too. Audio Pro has packed in a 7.5cm long-throw woofer and bolstered its output with two 11.5cm passive radiators. And there's a BMR, or Balanced Mode Radiator, tweeter. The result is a spread of sound that has to be admired, combined with excellent timing -  it snaps along with that same intensity and intelligent organisation we’ve come to expect from Audio Pro. We think the A10's price and more traditional design will bring Audio Pro to a different audience, and we're all for that.

Read the full review: Audio Pro A10